Concorde Delta Golf's Brooklands journey...
After British Airways retired their Concorde fleet on 24th October 2003, Brooklands Museum in Weybridge, Surrey, made an unsuccessful bid to acquire one of the seven retired BA Concordes. More than 30% of each of the 20 Concorde airframes were manufactured by the British Aircraft Corporation at their Weybridge factory during the 1960s and 1970s and the site's unique historical association with the type was the prime reason for the museum's ambition to acquire an example for its aviation collection. Soon after their failed bid, however, it was announced that they were in negotiations with BA to have Concorde G-BBDG (c/n 202) loaned to the museum instead.
Although classed as a production standard aircraft, G-BBDG, or 'Delta Golf' as the aircraft is more affectionately known, never saw airline service but, along with Concorde F-WTSB (c/n 201), she did the bulk of the flying that allowed the final certification of Concorde for airline service as well as being used to train the early British Airways flight crews.
Having accumulated 1282 flying hours - of which 514 were supersonic - DG last flew on Christmas Eve 1981. She then went into storage at Filton airfield near Bristol and was subsequently acquired by British Airways in 1984 and used as a source of spares to keep their Concorde fleet serviceable. To protect DG from the elements, British Airways constructed a purpose-built hangar to house her at Filton. The building was designed to enable the aircraft to be stored minus the tail fin, which effectively halved the cost of the structure. The hangar became known as the '202' hangar and was completed in early 1988. DG was moved inside in May of that year.
In late October 2003, British Airways formally offered Concorde G-BBDG to Brooklands for restoration and display. In early 2004, work began to remove all the parts from Delta Golf that could simply be unbolted. This included the outer and forward wing sections, the tail cone and the engine intakes. Then, in April 2004, DG was towed out of her hangar at Filton ahead of contractors Air Salvage International coming on site to cut her into five main sections for the journey to Brooklands. This was necessary due to width restrictions for loads carried on UK roads imposed by the Highways Agency.
By early June 2004, after much organisation and planning, all the disassembled sections of DG's airframe had been safely transported the 125 miles by road to the museum. This was followed by more than 40 truck loads of crates and boxes from both Filton and Heathrow containing Concorde parts and spares. Then followed a two year long process that began with ASI reassembling DG structurally and then a team of over a hundred volunteers worked to transform the aircraft from a derelict shell into the exhibit now on display.
The restoration of DG was a "Million Pound Project" that helped to secure her long-term future and placed her on display alongside other existing museum aircraft such as the VC10, Vanguard, Viscount and Varsity - all of which were also designed and built at the Weybridge site. Opened to the public in July 2006 by HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Delta Golf is the only Concorde in the South of England that is open to visitors.
2024 will mark two important anniversaries for Delta Golf. Firstly, it is 50 years since her maiden flight from Filton to Fairford in February 1974. Secondly, it is 20 years since she arrived in pieces at Brooklands. DG is still a hugely popular attraction at the museum and the Brooklands Concorde Experience offers a unique opportunity to visit this fantastic aircraft at the place where the first UK meeting between Great Britain and France to discuss Concorde took place and where more than 30% of every Concorde airframe - British and French - was manufactured. If you would like to visit Delta Golf at Brooklands, click here for details.
Concorde model 'G-CONC' is also on display at Brooklands...
The famous 40% scale Concorde model 'G-CONC' that adorned the roundabout at Heathrow Airport for nearly 20 years was donated to Brooklands Museum by British Airways in 2007. Having been disassembled and transported to the museum in March of that year, the model was then re-assembled by the Concorde volunteer team at Brooklands and completely restored. On 29th Spetember 2012 G-CONC was moved to a permanent location at the entrance to the museum and neighbouring Mercedes-Benz World. For more details and photographs of the project, click here.